Last night I finally managed to find a night when there was a slam I could get to. It was one of the heats to the New South Wales state slam, which happens this Friday. I was thrilled to be there: all those people, eager and electric and shouting about poems — the writing of them, the hearing of them, the sharing of them! Yeah, sure, the quality may have been a little uneven, but so what? How could you not love how everyone was loving poetry?

In between the two halves of the evening, a champion UK poet named Hollie McNish recited a few of her poems. I'm pasting a link here to the one I loved the best last night (even though this version lacks a bit of zip, as it's not a live performance, but a studio-type recording).

Now, you: go and write some poetry, or read one of your poems (or one of someone else's) out loud to the dog, really dramatically, or find out if there's a slam in your town you can go to. Have fun with the sounds and pulses of the words. Exaggerate them. Spend them, squander them, toss them with wild abandon to the crowds gathered beneath your window! Hear those words sizzle and rumble and roar!


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